Statute of Limitations in a Car Accident
Updated: Nov 18, 2021
When someone is involved in a car accident in Maryland where their health is in jeopardy, the last thing that comes to mind is taking legal action. In this situation, you can become so overwhelmed focusing on your medical situation that you forget there is a deadline to file a lawsuit. This is what we refer to as the “statute of limitations”.
Generally speaking, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit due to a car accident in Maryland is three years. However, as with anything in law, there is more to the story. For example, if the person at fault in your case was an employee of the state acting in the course of their employment at the time of the accident, there are strict notice requirements pursuant to the Maryland Tort Claims Act (MTCA). Notice must be properly given to the State of Maryland within one year or the claim will be barred. Additionally, if you are injured by an uninsured driver and if you don’t have an applicable policy of insurance that covers you, as long as you meet all of the statutory requirements, you are permitted to make a claim with the MAIF Unsatisfied Claim and Judgment Division (MAIF UCJ). If you are making this type of claim there is a strict 180 day deadline to file the completed claim form and accompanying materials.
It’s understandable that health is your number one priority when car accidents happen, but you don’t want to cause irreparable harm to the claims that may be available to you. Remember that the clock is ticking, so it’s best to take action right away.
Understanding The Statute of Limitations in a Car Accident
The start of the statute of limitations.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, the statute of limitations will begin running on the date of the accident.
A suitable time to start filing a lawsuit.
As previously mentioned the clock is ticking, so it’s recommended not to delay until you’re near the end of the three-year time period. As soon as you’re in a conscious state of mind (depending on the severity of the accident), make sure to contact a lawyer specialized in car accidents as quickly as you can.
The reason behind the urgent need to file a claim quickly is that waiting too long could bar any chance of recovery. A simple accident case can sometimes result in a complex lawsuit. Lawsuit preparation can take a lot of time, especially when there are numerous defendants. For this reason, it’s recommended that you speak with a skilled lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.
The disadvantage of waiting too long is that you risk losing evidence from the accident that could be useful to support your claim. Furthermore, witnesses of the accident may forget crucial information or may no longer be reachable. Additionally, many skilled lawyers will turn down car accident cases if the statute of limitations is near expiration. This is because in many cases a thorough case review and investigation are needed to ensure that all of the defendants are properly named and included in the lawsuit.
On the other hand, the advantage of filing a lawsuit earlier is that there is still plenty of time to amend the lawsuit if it is discovered that a crucial defendant wasn’t named. Sometimes an omitted defendant will be found during discovery, which only begins after a lawsuit is commenced. Discovery is the process of both sides requesting and exchanging relevant information in the form of interrogatories, requests for production of documents, requests for admissions and depositions.
Have you been in a car accident recently?
If you have suffered a serious injury in an auto accident that wasn’t your fault, let SG Legal Group help. When you retain SG Legal Group, you can expect to work closely with your attorney. We make client communication a top priority. For a free consultation with one of your automobile accident lawyers regarding your potential personal injury claim, contact us now. You pay no attorney’s fees unless we win your case.